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Finding a job with limited experience

zebra246zebra246 Registered Posts: 57
I am 50. I have MAAT status. With no recent nor relevant accounting work experience, do I have any chance of getting a paid position in the accounting field? All jobs ask for experience. I am not prepared to work for free for more than a week.
dumutrobacolls10

Comments

  • colls10colls10 Norwich AATQB Posts: 24
    Hi. I’m 45. Due to a change in life, death of parent and having to help care, I decided to re skill. 3 years with Aat. Completed up to and including level 3 with merit . Now taking on level 4 to complete . I too have found it near on impossible to find any paid work . I have banking experience , ran a bistro for a while , but don’t have the experience looked for . It is so sad that we choose to better ourselves or Change path, to hit a wall. I have set up my own sole practitioner bookkeeping practice , website , social media , joined IAB to gain a practice licence , but its hard work , and quite daunting with no real hands on work . Someone’s moto I read on here once was that If no one is prepared to give me a chance , I will do it myself . And it can be done . Let me know how you get on . Don’t give up. Times are changing with cloud accounting and add ons etc that many accountants soon should be wanting to outsource work at least , what with MTD etc . Don’t give up .
    zebra246ashakantaxharma
  • Duchess1Duchess1 MAAT Posts: 75
    I'm in a similar position. Starting to get a few interviews now though. I don't think it is easy, but I don't think it is impossible. Starting pay is quite low though! Good luck.
    ashakantaxharmacolls10
  • ashakantaxharmaashakantaxharma Guwahati, Assam, IndiaRegistered Posts: 9
    Never lose hope and keep yourself updated with latest happenings in your field of expertise.
    Asha Kanta Sharma
    +91-98642-72826
    Guwahati, Assam, India
    colls10
  • zebra246zebra246 Registered Posts: 57
    I thought I would provide an update.

    2 and a half months on, I have had the same response many times, "I am unable to offer you a role due to your lack of relevant experience. You should seek to obtain at least three months' experience in a particular area. Then you could be considered."

    I found a company called 'Direct Placement' through Reed employment agency. They want me to pay them £395 administrative fee and for that I get 12 weeks' remote work experience but no guarantee of a job at the end. They also provide some Sage training but I don't know if this is included in the price. Does anyone have any experience with this company? Sounds a bit iffy to me.
  • Duchess1Duchess1 MAAT Posts: 75
    Sorry but I wouldn't pay any fee to get a placement. I have just done a 6 week contract through a recruitment agency. Basic job, accounts payable. It is not a position I would apply for if it was full time, but it was good experience. If you end up temping for a large organisation, you never know what other job openings there are once you are there. Keep applying, something will turn up eventually. I think it has gone quiet with agency work over the last few weeks. And you are right …. everyone wants people with a few years experience. Rather than going for a particular job, I think be flexible and be willing to take any position in accounts / finance. Keep studying in the meantime.
  • PelikanUKPelikanUK Registered Posts: 12
    zebra246 said:

    I thought I would provide an update.

    2 and a half months on, I have had the same response many times, "I am unable to offer you a role due to your lack of relevant experience. You should seek to obtain at least three months' experience in a particular area. Then you could be considered."

    I found a company called 'Direct Placement' through Reed employment agency. They want me to pay them £395 administrative fee and for that I get 12 weeks' remote work experience but no guarantee of a job at the end. They also provide some Sage training but I don't know if this is included in the price. Does anyone have any experience with this company? Sounds a bit iffy to me.

    No those things are a ripoff. They advertise it as a job but what it really is is a training programme you pay them for and that's pretty much it.

    My advice would be try reaching out to some local accountants directly and asking them for advice. Demonstrate your eagerness and commitment to the profession given you have persevered despite not finding work and build a relationship.

    I'd rather hire a 50-year-old that's reliable, has some work and life experience behind them and get 5-10 solid years out of them than someone straight out of college.
  • zebra246zebra246 Registered Posts: 57
    I turned down the Direct Placement £395 training/placement. The interviewer (in reality sales guy) came across as a pushy South London wide boy, which along with the fact that the 'placement' was remote, led to me thinking other training or placement avenues may be more suited for me and my money could be better spent elsewhere.
  • zebra246zebra246 Registered Posts: 57
    So, I thought I would post an update. I am still in the same situation with regard to my applications for accounting roles. That is to say, no employer is remotely interested.

    I did, however, manage to land a job in an NS&I call centre. Whilst it is not an accounting role, I suppose it is in the world of finance but clearly a customer service role related to banking. The pay at around £17,000 p.a. is nothing to write home about, particularly when one considers the irregular and unsociable hours.

    If anybody would like to comment on this topic of MAAT's without experience, feel free.
  • GalliumGallium Registered Posts: 12
    edited January 6
    The market seems really competitive.
    I worked as a VAT inspector before I decided to pursue accountancy, I've also worked as an assistant financial analyst/data analyst for a year. I've been applying for jobs as my current job as a paralegal ends soon, whilst in a job I've shot of over 100+ applications and have had no luck. At interviews I keep getting that I'm 'over-qualified' , apprenticeship schemes at interview have alluded to me being too old and I'm only in my late 20s!

    i'm by no means over-qualified, I actually see myself as having next to 0 exp with accounts as my previous jobs weren't really accounting.

    I've managed to land a day per week work exp in a practice, so hopefully that helps.
    it's really deterring
    zebra246
  • Caspar1Caspar1 FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 15
    I can give a little insight into why it is hard to get paid work experience. I am a small practice and from time to time, take on an A level business studies student, during term times only on NMW for one afternoon a week. As there is only me, and due to there only being one afternoon a week with the student, it takes me 3 months to train them up on what they are going to be doing for me (during this time they need a lot of attention, ask a lot of questions, and need a lot of hand holding), it is only after 3 months, do I feel they can competently work on their own, knowing what they are doing in the main.

    The problem, is the time the practitioner has to give, for me it is almost like giving up an afternoons work every week and not getting very much done. I have had to look at it, as my way of giving back and putting something in to help someone.

    I agree though, gaining work experience helps, as everyone I have had working for me in this way over the years, has got a full time job afterwards, because they can put so much on their CV.
  • Duchess1Duchess1 MAAT Posts: 75
    I am registered with a few agencies (Reed, Randstad etc) and apply for roles through linked-in and cv library. I took on a 6 week temporary contract in accounts payable and have just taken on a new role as a part time accounts assistant, basically doing billing. I think once you get your foot in the door and get a bit of experience, things will get easier. The pay is low though starting out, around £10 / hour. I have however just had an interview for a full time role as an all-round accounts assistant for a large manufacturing firm. Keep applying, something will turn up. Have a clear vision in your head of the path you wish to follow & stick with the plan. I'm 51, so can't afford to take a detour in the wrong direction again. Good luck.... in the meantime, keep studying? I have started the ATT CTA pathway.
  • GalliumGallium Registered Posts: 12
    Caspar1 said:

    I can give a little insight into why it is hard to get paid work experience. I am a small practice and from time to time, take on an A level business studies student, during term times only on NMW for one afternoon a week. As there is only me, and due to there only being one afternoon a week with the student, it takes me 3 months to train them up on what they are going to be doing for me (during this time they need a lot of attention, ask a lot of questions, and need a lot of hand holding), it is only after 3 months, do I feel they can competently work on their own, knowing what they are doing in the main.

    The problem, is the time the practitioner has to give, for me it is almost like giving up an afternoons work every week and not getting very much done. I have had to look at it, as my way of giving back and putting something in to help someone.

    I agree though, gaining work experience helps, as everyone I have had working for me in this way over the years, has got a full time job afterwards, because they can put so much on their CV.


    I'm going to start some unpaid work exp at a small practice from next month. Can you give me a summary for what I need to brush up on in terms of accounting knowledge and excel/other software skills?
    Also general advice to newbies who are trying to get into entry level roles will be much appreciated.

    If anyone is willing to PM me to take a look at my CV and give me some tailored pointers, that would great!

  • Caspar1Caspar1 FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 15
    I'm going to start some unpaid work exp at a small practice from next month. Can you give me a summary for what I need to brush up on in terms of accounting knowledge and excel/other software skills?
    Also general advice to newbies who are trying to get into entry level roles will be much appreciated.

    If anyone is willing to PM me to take a look at my CV and give me some tailored pointers, that would great!



    Here's the list of things work experience students have put on their CVs after working for me to give you a guide. It sounds a lot more daunting than it is, because someone shows you what to do, and doesn't expect you to even know how to use the software at first. The main thing is, it is better to have the confidence to ask questions than guess and do it wrong. The more you ask, the more you understand, the more quickly you will be able to work independently and just need things checking at the end. And tick tick tick any paperwork or task lists, so that you know you have processed each task as you go along.

    • Attention to detail
    • Confidentiality
    • Planning and organising your work
    • Meeting deadlines

    Working within:
    Microsoft office (Excel, Word & Outlook)
    Spreadsheets/ Sage/ Xero/ Payroll software

    Tasks
    Entering Purchase ledger, sales ledger data, credit control (book keeping with sequential numbering if hard copies)
    Bank Reconciliations from bank statements or bank feeds in the software
    Expenses and petty cash (including petty cash reconciliation)
    Process weekly and monthly reports (general administration report)
    Emailing clients
    Reconciling Purchase Ledger Statements
    Speaking with Suppliers and clients on the telephone or via email
    Running weekly/monthly payrolls for clients
    Assisting in the process of VAT returns
    Filing
    Shredding
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